Ben stared at the letter in disbelief praying there was another Victoria Metcalf who knew another Benton Fraser and that *his* Victoria was not dead. Along with the letter was a mid-sized box of her belongings. An old friend in the RCMP, someone that knew of their relationship and all its twists and turns, had sent the startling news and the box that had arrived that morning. He sat there for a moment in numb shock, feeling angry at himself for not really feeling anything. He knew he should feel terribly upset but instead there was nothing but sensation of unreality. Finally he reached over and picked up the box, emptying its contents onto his bed. A flurry of memories, somethings long forgotten, came rushing back with painful clarity.
The coat. The wonderful warm, heavy , black coat she had worn when she came to his apartment that first time and the night at the trainstation. He picked it up, felling the coarseness of the wool, and raised the lapel to his nose. The scent of her hair and perfume were still heavily in the fabric and for a moment she was in the room with him, once again in his arms. He quickly put it down as if it had burned him. His heart turned over painfully and the scar from the bullet in his back began to ache dully.
Beside the coat was the shoulder bag she had always carried with her. Inside were some personal effects; a hairbrush, toothbrush, a couple dollars in change and a small piece of plastic covered paper lying face down on the bed. Ben picked it up and found himself staring right back. A much *younger* self taken years ago, probably when she was still in prison for the robbery. The picture was from a newspaper article that had listed a commendation he had received for bringing in a murderer.
Suddenly he felt very old and very tiered and sitting up was just too much effort. He laid back on the coat that was sprawled across the bed inhaling her scent and wishing that it was her body that he was lying on. It had been 3 years since the last time he'd seen her, the nightmarish night at the trainstation, but every night since then he had seen her in his dreams. A loving vision of long hair and warm hands that tormented his sleep.
And now she was dead, gone forever. She was killed in a plane crash. The irony of the way she had died burned like acid in his stomach. The single-engine plane had crashed up in the northern territories during a snowstorm and everyone had died on impact. He would never be free from her memory and when it came down to it, he would never want to be.
He knew the tears would eventually come and a deep sadness would drag him into a quiet depression and he would slowly overcome it. One day when death caught up with him they would be together again and their past could not interfere with their love. He clung to that hope as he drifted of into a fitful sleep.